Thursday, December 12, 2013

Easy Recipe for Low-Carb, Diabetic-Friendly Coconut Clusters



Yesterday evening, I found myself baking a diabetic-friendly dessert for the very first time in my life.  In the past couple of years, I've learned of several family members and friends who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and others who are trying to control their blood sugar levels for various reasons.  The incidence of diabetes is increasing and society as a whole is becoming more and more aware of the dangers of sugar to our bodies.  

Those of you who know me, know that I love to cook and bake.  I enjoy making dessert to take to dinner parties and such, but increasingly, I have found that not everyone has the luxury to indulge in these sweets. Yesterday, I was invited to my in-laws' house for dinner. I wanted to bring a dessert that could gratify everyone.  It always breaks my heart when I see one or two people unable to enjoy a treat.

I found a wonderful low-carb, diabetic friendly recipe that truly surprised my taste buds.  The recipe is from one of my cookbooks, "The Low-Carb Gourmet", written by Karen Barnaby.  The ingredients are things I usually have around the house and the recipe is so easy, anyone can make it.  The best part is that the coconut clusters were enjoyed by all, not just those watching their blood sugar.  Oh, and the aroma they leave in the house is heavenly.  

Some of my friends have requested the recipe, so I am sharing it with you, precisely as written on page 162 of Karen Barnaby's book...


Cream Cheese, Coconut,  and Lemon Mounds


Makes 20 mounds


90 g (3 oz) unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 tbsp Splenda
120 ml (4 fl oz) whipping cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
60 g (2 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind

In a medium bowl, mix the coconut, sweetener, cream and vanilla.  Let stand for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F / gas 4.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the cream cheese into the coconut mixture until blended.  Add the egg and mix well.  Stir in the lemon rind.

Drop by level tablespoons (making macaroon-shaped mounds), 5 cm (2 in) apart, on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops are lightly speckled with brown.


Per mound.  Carbohydrates: 0.7 g;  Protein: 0.8 g;  Fat: 5.4 g;  Calories/kJ: 54/226




And voila!  The coconut clusters are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!  I promise!  The best way I can describe their taste and texture is a cross between a macaroon and cheesecake.  Keep in mind that they do need to be refrigerated or frozen overnight to prevent spoiling (because of the cream cheese).  That is if they last that long!  Hope you enjoy! 

23 comments:

  1. They look really good, Rosinda! I love anything with coconut. The thing, though, about baking diabetic-friendly foods with Splenda is the aftertaste. My mom is a WONDERFUL cook/baker but when she makes cookies for my dad using Splenda I can always taste the yucky aftertaste of Splenda. Did you notice that at all? Maybe I just have sensitive taste buds. I'll have to try this one!

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    1. Really, Karen? Honestly, I didn't notice an aftertaste at all. I asked my husband about it and he didn't either. Maybe give these a try or pass the recipe on to your mother. They were delicious! It was my first time baking with Splenda. I really appreciate your feedback. :)

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    2. I definitely AM going to try it! I've been missing having coconut macaroons (grew up with them) so perfect timing! Will try the Splenda, too, and see how it is. I'm sure there's no aftertaste if you haven't noticed it. xo

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    3. When you try them, let me know what you think! Have a great weekend, Karen! xo

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  2. They look great Rosinda. I think Splenda is the only fake sugar that has NO aftertaste. Stevia is nasty. Not sure the kids should eat Splenda or any fake sugars tho. Actually I don't think any of us should, but I bake with it sometimes for my diabetic son in law. Here's another coconut cookie recipe you might like to try. As good as real cookies:

    2 eggs beaten with a whisk
    1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (or ground almonds)
    1/3 - 1/2 cup Splenda (to taste, I like more cause cooked less sweet)
    1 ½ tsp baking powder
    1 tsp Vanilla
    Chocolate chips—check the pack and add as many as carbs you’re comfortable with. You can count them out and push into each cookie if you want precision.

    Mix Splenda and vanilla into eggs. Mix in coconut, baking powder. Scoop out onto baking sheet lined with tin foil sprayed with pam. I tend to flatten them out rather than ball up by using ice cream scooper. This might be cause I’m doing it the lazy way late at night when desperate. Spray cookies with pam. Bake at 375 for about 12-15 minutes.

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  3. Thank you for sharing the coconut cookie recipe, Nancy! I will have to give this one a try one day soon! :o)

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  4. Rosinda what a yummy treat you have prepared. I must try these for my family this Christmas. I use Splenda and don't notice any aftertaste. Merry Christmas to you and your family. ♥

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    1. Thank you, Martha Ellen! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year! xoxo

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  5. I've never had a problem with Splenda, Rosinda. I bet these are terrific! Thanks for the recipe. I've saved it to my file--along with Rachel's recipes. It's my R&R file! xoxo

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    1. Ah-ha! R&R file...that's cute! They were scrumptious! Thank you! xoxo

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  6. I think you are the most considerate and thoughtful person! {as a vegetarian, I know what it is like to be told "oh, it only has a small amount of meat, you won't notice it"}
    I love coconut and lemon things. I think I will be trying this in the New Year! Thank you for sharing it with us~Debs xoxo
    p.s. Reading the comments about sugar substitutes, I wonder if this needs sugar? I think it would be good without, and sugar substitute does not affect texture, only taste, right?

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    1. Thank you, Debs! You are so sweet. You have a point. The coconut clusters would probably taste good even without the sugar substitute. The whipping cream adds some sweetness of its own. I'm not sure if the lack of sweetener would affect the texture, though. Probably not. Thanks for your comments! xoxo

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  7. This is so absolutely thoughtful of you to try and make some recipes to help some of the other members of your family. I agree that Splenda is not a healthy alternative for those of us who can eat sugar. And, I agree with Nancy that the children should not be eating it. The effects are long term and only certain people are affected with immediate issues, so those who may not think they have issues can't see their intestines or their pH levels after consuming splenda. SO, my favorite comment comes from Deborah who says they just might not need the sugar at all, which could be amazing!! The body turns carbs into sugars anyway, so true diabetics must stay away from carbs in general as well. I'm going to try the recipe with a very low amount of sugar and see how it goes....I may try some organic flavorings as well, such as organic almond or maybe some grated orange, too, just to play with flavors. You are the sweetest person; honestly, you try so hard to make everyone happy my dear!!! xo Joann

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    1. Thank you, Joann, for sharing your thoughts on the subject of sugar vs. sweetener. It is a tricky subject and people have varying opinions about it. Sugar or sweetener? Which is the greater of two evils? I guess everything in moderation is a good way to go. Thanks, also, for your kind words. You are a sweetie! xo

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  8. Rosinda, thank you for this yummy recipe! They look so delicious! My Mom has type 2 diabetes and uses Splenda all the time. I notice no difference at all. Last summer I made her a blueberry pie with Splenda and it was delicious! She loves coconut (who doesn't : ) so I will definitely try these macaroons. I wish I had one right now! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Have a wonderful day! ♥

    Danielle xo

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    1. You're welcome, Danielle! Mmm! I love blueberry pie and blueberries, period! Hope you have a wonderful day, also! Thanks for stopping in! xoxo

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  9. Dearest Rosinda, your recipe sounds heavenly and what a sweetie you are to do this for others who can't eat sugar! Sending you all love during this wonderful holiday time when we count all our blessings! So lovely to see you posting once more!! xo

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    1. Thank you, dear Sherry! Your love and comments are much appreciated. I am certainly counting my blessings, these days, and you are one of them! Have a wonderful weekend! xo

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  10. Thank you for sharing this, Rosinda. I have "The Low Carb Gourmet" too, but I've not tried these. I may give them a try for Christmas, and I may experiment with the sweetener too :) Yours look yummy! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Janie! I didn't realize you also had the book. Did you try any of the other dessert recipes? If you like coconut, I am sure you will love these. Have a wonderful weekend, sweetie! xoxo

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  11. I read your post at the perfect time- I've been racking my brain trying to think of something I could make my male cousin who is diabetic for Christmas. Hurrah these look perfect!! xx

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    1. That's wonderful, Patricia! If you end up making them for Christmas, let me know how they turn out! xo

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  12. In the occasion you truly feel your framework pounds won't match to your stature then you unquestionably need to do diabetic diet design.Foods to lower a1c

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